Seeming as how my archive system works much like Mark’s, only (From Dorathea’s POV) worse because you have to choose a year as well as everything else (It’s still three clicks, because my monthly archives are full posts, but even so…), I should be on the defensive. First, I agree whole-heartedly with Jonathan on the subject of weekly archives. I once offered them (Via a kludge of Klind’s select date-range feature, which I have yet to find a nice interface for in [E]2), but because I didn’t find them terribly useful, I dropped them. The unit of archiving for this weblog is the Month and the Post, weeks make life confusing.
The benifits of the Tiered structure are, for me, three-fold. The first is sheer weight of numbers. I’ve been blogging for three years now, posting once every day, with occasional holidays. I have archives going back to January 2000, Even a list of *months* is getting on for forty lines in a navigation box, weeks would be… what, about a hundred and fifty lines? Sod that. I don’t object to long pages (See the category page for “Personal”. Since everything before august last year got filed there it’s about half a meg of HTML), but I don’t want to overload the front page.
The second is logical structure. If you’re looking for a post by when I posted it, you’ll probably have a rough idea which month it appeared in, and what year. You probably don’t want to wade though another thirty calendar tables, All large navigation is drill-down out of necessity of not fusing the average users tiny minds with too much information. Again, weeks fall down here because they are a halfway house between the openness of a month and the claustophobia of archive by day. If you want a post by category, use the archive by category instead of by date. Bada-bing, as I’m assured they say in the states.
I agree that three clicks to the current archive is a little overboard, and my solution to this (as of today) is to display the current year archive on the front page of the Archive section, or I could to put a “Last six months” list after the Recent Comments down the left. Putting the whole archive on the front page, though, strikes me as overkill at this size.